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12:45 PM, October 15, 2016
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Indian Air Force Antonov An-32 aircraft

India has called off the search for aircraft AN-32, which went missing two months ago over Bay of Bengal with 29 passengers onboard.

The search was called off more than a week ago after they searched the seabed in the four locations with the submersible, NIOT director Sateesh C Shenoi was quoted as saying by Times Of India Saturday.

“Even though they were expected locations, we could not find any remains. So, we ended the search and the vessel has moved out of that location for another assignment,” he said.

If the defense ministry comes up with definite locations, the team is ready for another search in Bay of Bengal, Shenoi added. The search team identified more than 100 different locations, where they thought the debris would be found.

However, the official announcement is yet to be made by the IAF or the defense ministry.

The AN-32 went missing mid-air on July 22 within fifteen minutes after taking off from Tambaram Air Force base to Port Blair.

On August eight, Samudra Ratnakar belonging to Geological Survey of India (GSI) and a team from Chennai-based National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) started doing a deep sea search with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) on board research vessel Sagar Nidhi.

The team conducted search in four locations about 200 nautical miles from Chennai coast but failed to find any debris of the aircraft.

On September 14, NIOT's ROV fitted with cameras began the search at a depth of about 3,500 meters. These locations were filtered from more than a 100 different spots identified during the initial seabed mapping conducted with a multibeam echo sounder and a sub-bottom profiler.

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